Does the pleasure and happiness of the worldly life not lie in living freely
in denial of God and not heeding the hereafter?
Two paths before humanity
O helpless man! Come to
yourself! Do not listen to the representative of the misguided. If you listen
to him, you will suffer such a great loss that imagining it causes the spirit,
mind and heart to shudder. There are two paths before you:
The path of misguidance,
and associating partners with God and of dissipation and transgression of Divine
Commands, causes man to fall to bottomless depths of degradation, and loads
an unbearable burden onto his weak back and his heart with boundless sorrows.
For if a man does not recognize Almighty God and put his trust in Him, he becomes
like an extremely weak and impotent and an infinitely poor and destitute animal,
a mortal afflicted with pains and grieves and subject to countless calamities.
Throughout his life he suffers incessantly from separations from the things
which he loves and has had connections with, and leaving his friends and relatives
remaining in life in pains of separation, he enters into the dark depths of
the grave alone.
Also, he struggles in vain,
with a limited will, little power, a short life-span and a dull mind, against
infinite pains and ambitions. He strives to realize his countless desires and
goals without any considerable result. While he is unable to bear the burden
of his own being, he loads his miserable mind and back with the tremendous burden
of the world. Before going to Hell, he suffers the torments of Hell.
In order to be able to endure
that sort of painful spiritual torment, a misguided one leads himself to the
drunkenness of heedlessness as some sort of anaesthesia. However, when he has
approached the grave, he begins to feel it most acutely. For since he has refused
to become a true servant to Almighty God, he supposes himself to be the owner
of his self. Whereas he is unable to govern his being in this tumultuous world
with his limited free will and insignificant power and encounters numerous enemies
from harmful microbes to earthquakes ready to attack him. In painful fear and
terror he looks to the door of the grave, which always appears terrifying to
Furthermore, on account
of being human, he is related to humankind and the whole of the world. But since
he does not believe the world and mankind to be at the disposal of the One Who
is All-Wise, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Compassion-ate, and All-Munificent,
and attributes their existence and lives to chance and nature, the fearful
events of the world and the conditions and experiences of mankind always trouble
him. Together with his own pains, he also suffers from the troubles of other
creatures. The convulsions, earthquakes, plagues, calamities, deaths and famines,
which visit the world, inflict upon him unbearable torments.
A man in this position does
not deserve mercy and affection for it is himself who throws himself into such
a terrible state. If a man who, not content with an agreeable and lawful enjoyment
and entertainment in a fine banquet among honest friends in a beautiful garden,
has become drunk with foul wine for the sake of a disagreeable pleasure, imagines
himself to be surrounded by wild beasts in a dirty place on a winter day and
begins to tremble and cry in fear, he will not deserve pity. For he is imagining
his honest friends to be wild beasts and insulting them, and supposing the delicious
foods as foul and the clean, fine plates and bowls as worthless, dirty stones,
is breaking whatever he touches, and judging the invaluable meaningful books
which have been brought to read and study to be ordinary meaningless collections
of sheets, is tearing them up and throwing them around. Rather than compassion
and pity, such a man deserves punishment.
Similarly, since through
the drunkenness of unbelief and insanity of misguidance arising from the abuse
of will-power, a man asserts that the All-Wise Maker�s guest-house of the world
is a plaything of chance and nature, and that the transference of beings to
the world of the Unseen after each has completed its duty of refreshing the
manifestations of the Divine Names is going into absolute non-existence; since
he judges the glorifications of beings and their recitations of the Divine Names
to be outcries of deaths and eternal separations, and those sheets of creatures
which are each a missive of the Eternally Besought-of-All to be confused, meaningless
collections; since he sees the door of the grave, which is opened on the world
of mercy, as the opening of a dark world of non-existence and death (while it
is in fact an invitation to re-union with friends and beloved ones), as absolute
separation from all friends and beloved ones; he makes himself subject to alterable
and painful torment, and since he denies, rejects and insults both creatures
and the Divine Names and His inscriptions and missives, he in no way deserves
pity and compassion, rather he deserves a severe punishment.
Which progress, which science, which technology can compensate
So, O unfortunate people
of misguidance and dissipation! Which progress and evolution of yours and which
sciences, which technology and civilization of yours can compensate for such
a terrible loss and collapse and crushing hopelessness? Where can you find the
true consolation which the human spirit needs first of all and most urgently?
What nature, what causality and whatever else on which you rely and to which
you attribute the works of God and His bounties and favors, and what discoveries
and inventions of yours and what idols and fetishes, can save you from the darkness
of death, which you suppose to be eternal extinction, and take you across the
boundaries of the intermediate world of the grave and the place of the Resurrection
and Gathering and over the Bridge to the Abode of Eternal Happiness?
Whereas, since you are unable
to close the door of the grave, you are bound to traverse, to tread this way
which reaches the One under Whose command and at Whose disposal are all those
worlds and abodes.
Also, O unfortunate, misguided
and heedless people! Since you use unlawfully in love of your selves and the
world, the potential of loving and knowing which was given to you to know and
love God and His Attributes and Names, and your body and faculties granted to
you to worship and thank Him, you are suffering the punishment which you deserve.
Since you assign to your selves the love which must be felt for Almighty God,
you are suffering the troubles which your selves cause you. You do not provide
a true peace and happiness for that object of your adoration, which is your
carnal self. Since you do not submit it to the Absolutely Powerful One, the
True Beloved One, with utmost trust in Him, you always suffer pains. Since you
assign to the world the love belonging to the Names and Attributes of Almighty
God, and attribute the works of His art to causality and nature, you are getting
your deserts. The things among which you share out your love either leave you
without saying good-bye or do not recognize you. Even if they recognize you,
they do not love you. Even if they love you, they give you no benefit. You suffer
from incessant separations and deaths without hope of re-union.
This is the reality of what
the misguided call happiness of life and human perfection and beauties of civilization
and pleasures of freedom. Dissipation and drunkenness are a veil which may temporarily
keep them from feeling those sufferings and pains.
As for the light-diffusing
highway of the Qur�an, it heals the wounds with which the misguided are afflicted,
with the truths of belief, and disperses all the darkness enveloping them. It
closes up all the doors of misguidance and wasting.
The way of the Qur�an removes
the weakness and impotence of man and his poverty and neediness through trust
in an All-Powerful One of Compassion. In this way man submits the burden of
his being and life to His Power and Mercy and rather than being loaded with
that burden, he makes his self and life a mount for himself. This way teaches
him that he is not a speaking animal but a true human being and a welcomed guest
of the All-Merciful One. Showing the world as a guest-house of the All-Merciful
One and the creatures in it as the mirrors of the Divine Names and ever-recruited
missives of the Eternally Besought-of-All, it heals perfectly the wounds caused
by the transience of the world, decay of things and love of mortals, and saves
man from the darkness of whims and fancies.
The way of the Qur�an shows
life to be the prelude to re-union with the friends and beloved ones who have
already gone to the other world, and thereby heals the wounds of death, which
the misguided regard as an eternal separation. It establishes that that separation
is in reality the re-union itself.
By demonstrating that the
grave is a door opened on the world of mercy, the abode of happiness, the gardens
of Paradise and the luminous realm of the All-Merciful One, the way of
the Qur�an removes the greatest fear of mankind and shows the journeying in
the intermediate world which is, in appearance, most depressing and troublesome,
to be most pleasant and exhilarating. It demonstrates that the grave is not
like a dragon�s mouth but a door opened on the gardens of Divine Mercy.
It says to the believer:
�Seeing that you have a most limited will-power, then leave your affairs to
the universal Will of your Owner. If you have a slight, insignificant power,
then rely on the Power of the Absolutely Powerful One. If you have a short life,
consider the eternal life. If you have a dull mind, enter in the sun of the
Qur�an. Look at it with the light of belief so that in place of your mind, which
gives light like a firefly, each of the Qur�an�s verses gives you light like
The Qur�an declares:
If you have endless ambitions
and pains, boundless rewards and an infinite mercy are awaiting you.
If you cherish limitless
desires and aims, do not be anxious for them. The world is not the place where
you can realize all of them. You can realize them in another realm, and the
One Who has given them to you is One other than you.
You do not own yourself.
You are one owned by One infinitely Powerful and an infinitely Compassionate
One of Majesty. That being so, do not give yourself trouble by loading your
being and life onto yourself, for the One Who has given you your life is He,
and the One Who governs it is again He.
Then the world has an
Owner, Who is the All-Wise and the All-Knowing. Whatever He does, He does
it out of compassion. Even His wrath is based on His Compassion in many respects.
You are His guest in His world, so do not interfere with what is beyond the
realm of your power and responsibility.
Next, living beings like
men and animals are not free, left to themselves. They are officials charged
with certain duties, and controlled and favored by an All-Compassionate Ruler,
Who has preferred them over most of His creatures. He is much more compassionate
towards them than you.
Furthermore, all things
and events from microbes to catastrophes like plagues, floods, droughts and
earthquakes which, in appearance, are hostile to you, are controlled and governed
by that All-Compassionate Ruler. He is the All-Wise, doing nothing useless,
and the All-Compassionate, in every act of Whom is a kind of grace.
This world is transient
but the necessities of the afterlife are obtained in it. It is doomed to decay
but it yields everlasting fruits and displays the manifestations of the Eternal
Names of a Permanent One. In return for its few pleasures it causes one to
suffer many pains and afflictions but the favors of the All-Merciful, All-Compassionate
One are true and lasting pleasures, and its pains are the cause of obtaining
many spiritual rewards. Since the sphere of the lawful is sufficient for the
enjoyment and pleasures of the spirit, heart and carnal self, do not enter
the sphere of the unlawful: any illicit pleasure results in numerous pains.
It also causes one to lose the favors of the All-Merciful One, which are pure,
What the way of true guidance offers?
In the way of misguidance
man falls so low that no trend of philosophy, nor scientific development,
no human civilization and progress can pull him up out of that deep pit of
darkness. Through belief and righteous deeds, the wise Qur�an takes man out
of that lowest of the low and raises him to the highest of the high. It fills
up that deep pit with the steps of spiritual progress and the means of spiritual
The way of the Qur�an
facilitates man�s long, troubling and stormy journeying in the direction of
eternity. It shows him the means with which to traverse in a day the distance
which would normally take him fifty thousand years to cover.
Also, by enabling man
to know the majestic Being, Who is the King of Eternity, uncontained by time
and space, it honors him with the position of being a dutiful servant and
guest of His, and secures him an easy and comfortable journeying through the
world and the mansions of the intermediate world of the grave and the Hereafter.
Just as a righteous, dutiful official of a king travels in his domain in security
with fast vehicles of transport like planes or trains or ships and crosses
the boundaries of its provinces without encountering any difficulty, so too
a man who is connected with the Eternal King through belief and shows his
obedience to Him through righteous deeds, travels through the mansions, and
across the boundaries, of the world and the realms of the grave and the Hereafter
with the speed of lightning or Buraq, the mount of Paradise, and finds eternal
happiness. The Qur�an proves the truth of this decisively and purified religious
scholars and saints can see it clearly.
The Qur�an continues:
Do not use your infinite
capacity of loving in favor of your carnal self, which is ugly, defective
and evil, and harmful to you. Do not adore it and do not follow its desires
and fancies as if it were an object of worship. Use the infinite capacity
of loving given to you in favor of the One worthy of infinite love, Who does
you infinite good and will make you infinitely happy in the future, Who through
His favors makes happy those with whom you have connections and whose happiness
pleases you; One with infinite perfection and infinitely sacred, transcendent,
pure, perfect and undecaying beauty, Whose every Name radiates numerous lights
of beauty and grace and the beauty of Whose Mercy and the mercy in Whose Beauty
are displayed in Paradise, and Whose Beauty and Perfection all the beauty,
grace and perfection in the universe which are lovable, point to and are signs
of: love Him, and make Him the sole object of your worship.�
Do not use your infinite
capacity of loving, which has in fact been given to you to love His Names
and Attributes, in loving impermanent beings. For whatever or whoever other
than Him is mortal. Whereas the Divine Beautiful Names manifested on mortals
are permanent and constant. Each of those Names and Attributes has thousands
of degrees of favoring and thousands of levels of perfection and love. Consider,
for example, the Name the All-Merciful: Paradise is a single manifestation
of it, and the eternal happiness, a single radiance, and all the provisions
and bounties bestowed on creatures in the world are a �drop� of it.
Consider the verses:
In order to see in the language
of the Qur�an the difference between the way of the Qur�an and that of the misguided,
which we have so far been trying to elaborate, consider the verses,
have created man in the fairest form and the best pattern of creation. Then
We have returned him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and
do righteous deeds. (95:4-6)
and the verse which points
to the end of the misguided,
heavens nor the earth wept over their destruction. (44:29)
and see in what elevated and miraculous style they express
We will make a few remarks
on the exalted truth contained in the other verse:
The verse explicitly states
that the heavens and the earth do not weep over the death of the misguided.
Therefore, it implies that when a believer dies, the heavens and the earth shed
tears over them.
Since the misguided people
do not know the meaning of the heavens and the earth and do not recognize their
Maker, and since they deny their duties and reduce their value, and thereby
insult them and show �hostility� toward them, when they die, the heavens and
the earth do not weep over them, rather they are pleased with their death. But
they weep over the death of believers because the believers know the duties
of the heavens and the earth and affirm the reality they bear. Through belief
they know the meaning they have and admit: how beautifully they have been created!
how well they perform their duties! The believers acknowledge their value and
pay them their due respect. They love them and the Names to which they are mirrors
in the name of Almighty God. It is for this reason that the heavens and the
earth are grieved for their death.